Tips for Developing the Whole Child

These simple tips can help you work on many areas of development that will help your child become a well-rounded person. They also help extend your child's learning at home. You can find additional suggestions in the other themes.


Point out the price of different items during shopping trips with your child. Talk about what coins and bills you could use to pay for a specific item. Start with inexpensive things, such as an ice cream cone or a head of lettuce. Encourage your child to familiarize himself or herself with the names of the various coins and bills.

Literacy and Language Development

Encourage your child to hold books correctly and to turn the pages one at a time. Also, ask him or her to point out where he or she can find information about the book, such as the author's name and the title.

Encourage your child to care for personal books. After you have finished reading a book together, always return it to a shelf or other designated space. This will make it easier to find books when you want to read them and will also prevent them from getting damaged. Encourage your child to also care for books borrowed from the school or local library or from friends, in the same way he or she would care for his or her own books.

Encourage your child to write his or her first name. Practice writing your child's first name with him or her. Use different writing tools, such as markers, crayons, pens, and pencils. Display many signs with your child's first name written on them around the house or in his or her room so your child sees it frequently. You can also do these things with your child's first and last names.

Social/Emotional Development

Encourage your child to clean up after himself or herself. For example, your child can help wipe the table after dinner, especially the area where he or she ate. Doing this will teach your child to be responsible for the space and will encourage him or her to be careful while eating.

Have clearly defined rules and routines in your home. Talk with your child about the rules and why they should be followed. He or she can be involved in creating some of the rules as well. Encourage everyone in the household to uphold these rules.